U.S. House reintroduces Immigration Bill

Just as we predicted a couple of weeks ago, the House reintroduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act on Wednesday evening.  This is the beginning of a piece-meal approach to immigration reform in Washington.  The bill passed in the House on December 11, 2019 with 61% approval – 226 DEMs and 34 REPs.  The bill is ‘unchanged’ (less some dates and other minor clerical corrections).
We anticipate that the bill will go directly to the floor for a vote in the House within the next two weeks, which means no changes will be made at all from the prior bill other than the dating and minor clerical changes.  The House ‘will’ pass it primarily on party lines, and send it to the Senate.  That is where we have the best opportunity, considering that this bill will require 60 votes to pass in the Senate.
Once the Senate receives the bill, the Adverse Effect Wage Rates, treatment of Farm Labor Contractors and more will be vetted.  That will be Agriculture’s chance to get our friends in the Senate to make changes that will improve on the House bill.  It will be uphill battle for them, for sure, and will include a great deal of debate.  The highlights of the bill are attached along with a Myths vs. Facts sheet. 
The NWA is engaged at many levels and discussions with our colleagues in the F&V industry to work through the reintroduction, reacquaint ourselves with the bill, understand its impact on the needs for AG labor, and bring your input into the fold once the House completes that sped-up process.  Our only option – our only input – will be with the Senate when they take up the bill.  Given the fact that this bill will require 60-votes to pass (or fail), we believe that we can make some concrete changes to the House version that will make sense.  Please stay tuned to further, upcoming updates.  We will be asking your input, so please stay tuned.    

Farm Workforce Act...